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Celeb Chef Todd English Dishes on Eva Longoria
The Insider.com caught up with celebrity chef Todd English, who runs 12 restaurants including the famed Olives, is the former host of PBS’ Food Trip with Todd English, a frequent Top Chef guest and is also the man who opened up Hollywood hotspot Beso with Eva Longoria. In the exclusive interview, the hunky chef talked about his partnership with Longoria, how he became a chef and what’s it’s like to be a "celeb chef."
Insider: What is it that made you want to become a chef?
Todd: I got into this when it wasn’t really cool to be a chef in America. There were only one or two schools to go to. When I told my career counselor in high school that I liked cooking, he sent me to the Home Economics class. That wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but my mother’s Italian, so there was always something cooking. I always liked cooking, but I didn’t know that it was something I could do as a career. I then took some time off from school, and started cooking. I ran into a chef that really got me into it, and off I went.
Insider: You had a partnership with Eva Longoria – how was that, and is that something you would like to branch out and do with other celebrities?
Todd: Yeah, it was great, she’s a sweetheart, and we had a lot of fun working together on the project. I can’t say enough about her, she’s great. For me, it’s not so much about the celebrity, it’s about the person, so if it’s someone like Eva then absolutely.
Insider: What do you think of being a "celebrity chef" and this phenomenon of celebrity chefs?
Todd: It’s wild. I certainly didn’t get into it to be that way. I just opened up a restaurant to make a living and do what I love. I think it’s really great for the profession and the craft that it’s being recognized, and at the end of the day, it’s the entertainment business. When you go out to dinner, you spend two hours to be entertained, if you will – to be in a place that has a vibe and to have good food. I also like that a lot of charitable things have come out of what we do. We auction off dinners and contribute to a lot of events, so I think that is a great thing about being a "celebrity chef."
Insider: Is there a rivalry between celebrity chefs? Are you friends?
Todd: I don’t think there is. We get along; everybody’s pretty cool with each other. If everybody wasn’t so busy building their own empires then we would have a lot more time to hang out. A few of us, like Mario Battali and I, do get together and drink from time to time. (laughs)
The Insider.com: What is it like to be a hunky celebrity chef?
Todd: Well thank you, I’m humbled by that, and I don’t know. And I don’t look at myself that way, I enjoy what I do and making people happy, so if people look at me that way then I’m flattered. It’s certainly a compliment.